ALL POSTS TAGGED: RELIGIOUS



Katharina Kasper (1820 - 1898)

Feast Day: February 2
Canonized: October 14, 2018
Beatified: April 16, 1978
Venerated: October 4, 1974

 

Catherine (Maria) Kasper was born in 1820 in Dernbach, Germany. She was one of four children born to Henry Kasper and his second wife, Katherine. Henry also had four daughters by his first wife, who died at an early age.

Catherine was a good student and a great help to her family. She learned to spin and weave, and worked in the family’s potato patch. Other children enjoyed spending time with Catherine, and she shared with them stories about God and Mary. Together they would visit a Marian shrine outside of Dernbach.

When Catherine was twenty-one, her father died. By law, his property went to the four daughters of the first wife. Nothing went to Catherine’s mother and the four children she had with Catherine’s father. This forced Catherine and her mother to rent housing. Because Catherine’s mother was not in good health, Catherine had to take work as a farm hand.

As a child and as a young adult, Catherine was admired for the ways in which she helped others. Although she felt called to religious life from an early age, family responsibilities kept her from being able to answer this call until her early thirties. Then, she and four other women formed a religious community called the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ. Their ministry spread throughout Germany to England, the United States, the Netherlands, India, Mexico, Brazil, Kenya, and Nigeria. (Learn more about the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ at poorhandmaids.org.)

Mother Mary Kasper, as she was called, died on February 2, 1898. On her path to sainthood, she was best known for the way in which she followed the example of Christ by serving others. On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis canonized Maria Kasper. She is now a saint of the Church.

 

Continuing the Conversation . . .

Primary Grades: When she was young, Saint Maria Kasper was a great help to her family. She learned to spin and weave, and worked in her family’s potato patch.

Invite the children to name ways they help their families. Then give them time to draw pictures of themselves helping their families.

 

Intermediate Grades: When she was young, Saint Maria Kasper shared stories about Jesus and Mary with her friends.

Ask the young people to name the story of Jesus or Mary they would tell their friends, and why they would choose to tell that particular story.

 

Junior High: Because her mother needed her help, Saint Maria Kasper could not follow her dream of becoming a woman religious until she was in her early thirties.

Invite the young people to quietly think about hopes and dreams they have had to wait for or are waiting for today. Then ask volunteers to share what we can learn about hoping and waiting from the example of Saint Maria Kasper.

 


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NazariaIgnaciadeSantaTeresadeJesúsReligious-195x300.jpgFeast Day: July 6
Canonized: October 14, 2018
Beatified: September 27, 1992
Venerated: September 1, 1988

 

Nazaria March y Mesa was born in 1889 in Madrid, Spain. She was the fourth of eighteen children. Early in her life she made a personal vow of consecration to God. Her family, however, did not nurture her faith. In fact, because of Nazaria’s excitement over her faith, she was once grounded from attending Mass! Later, however, her grandmother encouraged her to be faithful in practicing her faith.

When life in Spain became difficult, Nazaria’s family moved to Mexico. During the move, Nazaria met and was inspired by several sisters who belonged to the Institute of Sisters of the Abandoned Elders. In 1908 she entered the order, and was sent to Bolivia to serve as a cook, housekeeper, nurse, and beggar for the poor. She was faithful to these tasks for twelve years, but began to feel a call to found a new religious order.

In 1925, with six other sisters, she founded the Congregation of the Missionary Crusaders of the Church. Their mission was to teach children and adults about the Catholic faith, to support the work of priests, and to conduct missions. During the war between Bolivia and Paraguay (1932-1935), the sisters cared for soldiers on both sides, and opened homes for war orphans. Also during that time, Mother Nazaria founded the first magazine for women in Bolivia in religious life and the first female trade union.

On her path to sainthood, Mother Nazaria led by example, serving as a model of both holiness and simplicity. She did all she could to encourage her sisters, to strengthen their sense of unity, and to keep them strong in their devotion to their ministry. On October 14, 2018, Pope Francis named her a saint of the Church.

 

Continuing the Conversation

Primary Grades: Early in Nazaria’s life, she made a vow of personal consecration to God.

Invite the children to name promises they can make to God and what they can do to keep those promises.

 

Intermediate Grades: Saint Nazaria’s grandmother encouraged her to be faithful in practicing her faith, even though Nazaria’s parents did not encourage her to do so.

Invite each young person to write about someone who has encouraged him or her to practice the Catholic faith. Ask volunteers to share what they have written. Then ask the group, “Who can you encourage to practice their faith? How can you encourage them to do so?”

 

Junior High: On her path to sainthood, Mother Nazaria led by example. She modeled both holiness and simplicity.

Invite each young person to write a paragraph about someone in his or her life who leads by example. What virtues does that person model?

Ask volunteers to read to the class what they have written.

Then lead a discussion about the opportunities the young people have to lead by example at home, at school, on their teams, and in their neighborhoods.


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Sister Dulce, known as the Mother Teresa of Brazil, was born in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, in 1914. Dulce was moved to help people.
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